The Truth Behind “The Big Cat Public Safety Act” HR 3546
For those of you who may not have heard yet, a piece of legislation deceptively called “The Big Cat Public Safety Act” has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives.
On the surface this bill claims to help crack down on the supposed “illicit interstate trade of protected wildlife species and keep the public safe from unqualified big cat owners”. The authors of this bill specifically exempted three types of big cat owners from this bill. These are AZA zoos, sanctuaries, and traveling circuses. In order to understand why these exemptions are in place it’s important to know where this bill originated. This bill was proposed and authored by Big Cat Rescue, a questionable animal rights sanctuary in Florida that has a 20 year stated plan that will eliminate all big cats from captivity including those in AZA zoos.
Big Cat Rescue is a pragmatic organization, that understands the nuances of politics. BCR knows that if the bill did not exempt AZA zoos, it would be dead in the water. On their Facebook page when BCR was questioned why circuses were exempt from this bill they said “They are vocal opponents who know how to play the game, and who donate heavily to make sure bills that protect wild animals don’t get passed. There are only 68 tigers in circus acts in the U.S. so we are trying to protects thousands of big cats first and then will turn our attention to the last 68”.
Clearly the organizations backing this terrible bill want a total ban on all animals in human care and they are just biding their time.
The most important information for you to know about this bill is that it will forever hurt captive conservation of rare and endangered big cat species. For example the country’s largest breeding groups of the highly endangered Snow Leopard and threatened Clouded Leopard are at private non AZA zoos. If this bill passes those animals will no longer be able to be used for captive breeding programs. Many rare and endangered cat species are responsibly bred by USDA licensed and or ZAA accredited private facilities. The authors of this bill would have you believe that the only true conservation work is done by AZA zoos but that simply is not true. Many private breeding programs are working with some of the worlds most rare and endangered cats. The same negative outcomes will befall all private zoos and USDA breeders who work with cheetahs, tigers, lions, etc.
Here’s an interesting fact for you, Do you enjoy seeing baby Snow Leopards and other big cats on morning programs or late night tv shows with Jack Hannah and other tv animal presenters? Well it turns out that many of those cats are born in private facilities, not AZA zoos. So you can say goodbye to tv appearances by baby big cats that raise the public’s awareness of the dangers facing these amazing creatures in the wild.
The truth is that the exotic animal industry is heavily regulated, regardless of what you may have been told. The United States Department of Agriculture issues licenses to breeders and exhibitors of big cats. Everyone who raises big cats or exhibits cats is required to have this license and submit to, at will unannounced inspections. Every zoo and sanctuary that is open to the public is subject to the rules of USDA. An AZA facility holds the same USDA license as a private zoo, which is also the same type of license that a “sanctuary” like Big Cat Rescue has.
If there are a few bad facilities out there, then those issues should be dealt with independently and the entire industry should not be punished. I will be posting more information about this bill and what you can do to help fight back against this erroneous piece of legislation. Remember that even if you don’t own or raise big cats, this bill effects you. The more momentum the animal rights movement picks up and the more laws they pass, the time will come in the not so distant future, where you will be told you can’t raise your elephants, primates, parrots, horses, or even dogs and cats. This bill has the potential to affect everyone, lets do something to stop it!
—Gavin Livingston The Unlikely Conservationist
Animal Rights Indoctrination of America’s Children
Organizations like PETA have been trying to indoctrinate children to their radicle animal rights ideology for decades now. In the past they have made horrific coloring books depicting animal abuse, and have published terrifying books aimed at getting children to tell their parents they don’t want to eat meat, go to the zoo or circus.
PETA however has reached a new low, they are releasing their very first Playstation 4 video game where the player can take the fight for “animal liberation” into their own hands. Here is how PETA describes the game.
“In this role-playing adventure game, you’re a kitten who fights evil robots to liberate orcas from a marine-park prison and whisk sheep away from the “Sheep Puncher.”
The game even lets the players get to know the “personal stories” of each of the animals they are rescuing. This is of course the hight of anthropomorphism. What really concerns me is that not only does this game aim to brainwash the next generation but it encourages criminal behavior. Lets not forget the past sins of organizations tied financially to PETA. It wasn’t to long ago that car bombings, robbery, vandalism, and “animal liberation” were the normal tactic for animal rights groups. They figured out that those tactics for the time being, aren’t very politically savvy so they have changed their form of terror to terrorize through threats of lawsuits and legislation to put hard-working people out of business.
In a society that has an ever-increasing problem with respect for the rule of law, a video game like this, encouraging criminal behavior to “save animals” could be disastrous.
I’m attaching the link below for a full description of the game straight from the horse’s mouth. Please tell your friends about this new tactic from these extremists and encourage them to protect their children from playing games like this. Children deserve to be able to visit zoos, marine parks and the circus. If this group has their way that will soon be a thing of the past.
Lets face it, for the most part the animal rights activists have for a very long time been defining the narrative to the general public about how we care for our animals. We have seen the negative effects that poor public perception or a lack of understanding can have on an animal business or facility. Some people may disagree with me on this, but I believe we are all in the same boat when it comes to the daily struggle to defend our way of life and protect our ability to care for our animals. The animal rights groups no longer just target certain segments of the animal industry, they will go after anyone. Accredited zoos, private zoos, circus, dog breeders, horse breeders, and agriculture are all in the same boat.
We needn’t look any further than the Pittsburg Zoo for a case study. They are a world renowned facility with a stellar reputation for both animal care and conservation work, yet as soon as they decided to switch which zoological association accredited them, they were viciously attacked by PETA and HSUS. Now the PETA attack is not a surprise, they will go after anyone, however HSUS is usually a little more restrained with big city zoos. HSUS seems to have a bit of a détente going with most large zoos, but all gloves were off once Pittsburg switched to being accredited by ZAA (Zoological Association of America).
It is time that we take a proactive approach, educating the public about how we care for our animals. It isn’t enough to explain to them about the care and enrichment that the animals receive when people visit your zoo, those people generally don’t need to be convinced. It is the hordes of people who are not already coming to your facility that need to hear your message. Social media seems to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to spread whatever your animal care message is.
The general public needs to know what it is like to see footwork done on an elephant, see an elephant get a bath, or learn why a sow needs to be in a farrowing crate when she gives birth. What we seem to forget, and I’m as guilty of this as anyone, is that the general public does not understand why standard animal husbandry practices are the way they are. By and large the animal husbandry tasks that we perform on a daily basis have been fine tuned for decades, now we need to let the public know about them.
Those of us who have devoted our lives to animal in zoos or agriculture have done so because we love our animals and are passionate about their well-being. People don’t just decide one day that they want to spend their life working with animals because it is a profitable career. If we continue to let ourselves be vilified by the animal activists then they will ultimately prevail.
The veil of secrecy must be lifted and we need to get the public on board with our animal care practices. We must be offensive though, because once you are put on the defensive it may already be too late to sway the court of public opinion. The National Pork Board has been succesful in creating a series of videos for social media that invites the average person into a hog barn and shows them the state of the art facilities that pigs are raised in. This should serve as a model for all of us to use, to educate the world. It is no longer enough to educate the average person about the plight of animal in the wild, they also need to be educated about how we care for them in captivity. Animals in the wild face untold dangers, animals in human care face only one foe, the radical animal rights movement. This movement is dependent on emotion and counts on a lack of understanding by the public of animal care techniques, lets change that.
As many of you know our elephant friends in CA are fighting a terrible bill, SB 716 that would ban the elephant guide! This bill is backed by animal rights organizations and a certain questionable sanctuary that want to see the end of elephants in human care! Our last hope to kill this terrible bill is a Veto by Governor Brown. So please click on the post below and send your letter politely asking the governor to veto this bill to the email address listed and they will hand deliver the letters to the governor. We only have until Sep 10th to get this done, please send letters and share this post so we can get as many letter opposing SB 716 as possible! #NOSB716